The fight media landscape exploded late last week when rumors about a potential showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor hit the newswire. Though a number of reputable media outlets published on the news, all reports were based an original story coming from the UK tabloid The Sun, which offered little to no concrete sourcing and ambiguous projections. Most disregarded the report, including UFC president Dana White and MMA analyst Ariel Helwani, who both dismissed the news as nothing more than media gossip.
"It's not true; it's just a tabloid story," White said in speaking with Yahoo Sports. "And as far as I knew, Floyd is retired and he's been on a world-wide vacation and hasn't even been thinking of fighting."
Ariel Helwani also tweeted about the situation, reminding everyone just how difficult it would be to pull off such a fight, not only across different promotional entities, but also across different sports.
All seemed put to rest by the end of the day until a number of things revived the possibilities of the super-fight this past weekend. The first was when father Floyd Mayweather Sr. spoke with EsNews and dropped comments hinting at possible opponents in his son’s return.
"He had told me the other day that he's going to take another fight," Mayweather Sr. said. "He told me some kind of MMA fighter."
When asked if said “MMA fighter” was McGregor, the answer was a little less direct, though mostly because it seemed that Mayweather Sr. was not familiar with McGregor and called him “McConnor” at times. Should the two face off, however, he was confident on how his son would do in the match.
“We don’t care nothing about that man. We'd beat the hell out of that man," said Mayweather Sr. "I haven’t seen the guy myself, but all I gotta do is get a good look at him and I can tell you that my son can whoop him. "
Perhaps a bit more telling was when the fighter spoke himself, as Mayweather Jr. later commented on the situation before Saturday’s showdown between Canelo Álvarez and Amir Khan.
"It's possible. It was a name that was shot at me. The rumors that y'all been hearing is the rumors that I started,” said Mayweather Jr. in an interview with FightHype. “It may not be a rumor. Keep y'all fingers crossed. It may be a boxer versus an MMA fighter."
While Mayweather Jr. did not officially mention McGregor by name, there are few other names that would fit the scenario.
And finally, to close out the weekend, the other side of the equation cued in on the matter when McGregor uploaded a mock poster of the potential showdown on Sunday night. Though McGregor has been known to play with public emotion on social media in recent times, the whole thing becomes curious when putting the pieces together. McGregor’s seeming fallout with the UFC, combined with the 9-figure minimal purse requirements that a Mayweather comeback would entail (which could only be achieved by a Pacquiao rematch or a crossover against McGregor), maybe makes the impossible seem a bit more possible.
At this point everything is still very unclear, and there are a number of seemingly insurmountable hurdles to overcome, but having both fighters chime in this way on the possibilities does make the whole thing a bit more interesting.
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